As a younger lad, most my fishing was spent on small, intimate waters local to home. Over the years, I have also been fortunate enough to have entered and fishing some UK Carp Matches at the likes of Linear Fisheries and other popular day tickets across the country. Both two quite different styles of angling, but ones that have allowed me to refine the way I fish, and approach my angling nowadays.


That brings us up to date… Most of my angling more recently has been spent in the famous Ringwood area, down south. An area that is spoilt with waters containing huge carp and somewhere I can see me spending many a year going forward!

As an angler, I, like many, try to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to rigs and rig tying. There are two rigs that play a pivotal role in my angling, and they are the D-Rig and Hinged Stiff Rig. Both incorporate some of the same components and materials, but are fished very differently depending on the angling situation and spots out in front.

The first is a simple D-Rig incorporating a Covert Dark Chod Hook and tied using my preferred 25lb Mirage Fluorocarbon. This is best suited to bottom or balanced bottom baits, and a rig that I will only fish on areas that I know are clean. Whereas my second, go-to rig, the Hinged Stiff Rig can confidently be cast to dirtier areas, to the sides of clear spots in the weed, or amongst showing fish.

As always, I tweak my rigs to suit me and my style of angling – it’s a confidence thing! You’ll often see anglers preference swaying toward high Hinges. Whereas I tend to fish mine really short – close to the deck. It’s a personal preference, but on busy circuit waters, doing things differently and making minor adjustments to your set-ups can no doubt, help you land more Carp!


Just like my D-Rigs, my hinges incorporate a stiff boom section (25lb Mirage), Stiff Link hook sections and a sticky sharp Specialist Sharpened Chod Hook – check these out if you haven’t already!


The above rigs, will often be attached to a helicopter set-up, my preferred Mirage Platinum Fluorocarbon main line, and a big lead – 4 or 4.5oz’s. I love a ‘heli’ mainly for it’s anti-tangle properties and the confidence it gives me, knowing that I am fishing every time! Don’t get me wrong, some situations and scenarios will mean I switch over to a conventional lead clip set-up. However, if this is the case, I will make small adjustments to suit that set-up. Such as, changing from my preferred, stiffer Fluorocarbon boom over to an Ultra Skin coated braid boom, to offer a bit more flexibility and give to my rigs. Ensuring they are presented to the best of their ability over different bottoms.


If I’m fishing a weedy lake and I have found a ‘fairly big’ spot. I will often place my D-Rig in the middle of the area, and then fish my Hinge to the edge of the spot or just off it. Not only do think this approach masks your lead and leader better, than having two rods standing out on a clear spot. I have evidence in my own angling that it seems to pick up the bigger fish! Especially the rare ones that don’t come out as often – give it a try!


Putting rigs and spots to one side, my approach for fishing new waters or any water for that matter, is to always walk the lake and find the fish – it’s critical! 9 times out of 10 if you find the fish, you are not far away from catching them.

I will always go with my own knowledge and instinct. Not anyone else’s (unless I know them well)! You’ll never see me change my tactics, just because I am on a ‘new’ water. Ultimately, I always want to be sitting behind my rods knowing I have full confidence that I am on fish and fishing effectively for them! In my opinion, confidence catches you fish. My honest advice would be to never go to a new lake, fishing rigs or bait that you’ve never used before. Just because you see people catch fish on it doesn’t mean you will.


Use the things that give you confidence! Starting on a new water is always daunting. However, by applying the tactics that have a proven track record, ensures you have one less thing to worry about. Allowing you to focus on learning the lake and the Carps behaviour.

Locating them, fishing effectively and getting bites will give you the confidence you need to achieve your goals!